find the right questions to get helpful answers

How do you find out what your customers think about your product? The answer is simple: with a product research survey containing great questions. A humble survey is a much more powerful tool than it might appear. It allows you to find out what your customers really think and want and at the same time, it builds relationships and boosts your customers’ loyalty.

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But what makes a successful survey? The questions! And here’s the thing: surveys work. People love to share their opinions with you and a survey is an unthreatening way to approach your customers. When you ask nicely most people will actually take the time to answer your questions. When they have replied you have a reason to approach them again.

Here are some tips to consider when you are creating your product research questions:

  • Choose questions that are actually relevant for the purpose. If you are conducting a product survey for shampoo, it really doesn’t matter which TV-show is the respondents preferred show.
  • If some of your questions are more important than others, you have to make sure your survey has clear sections starting with the main question, followed by supplementary questions that you indicate as “optional”.
  • Keep the number of questions as low as possible but still high enough for you to be able to collect the information you need.
  • Write your questions as a combination of open-ended questions where your customers are allowed to develop their responses and provide suggestions for improvement, simple close-ended questions where the respondent only has to answer yes or no, and questions where you provide answer choices and rating scales from 1 being “unlikely” and 5 being “very likely”.
  • Avoid asking leading questions; you want your respondents to give you as honest and truthful answers as possible.
  • Use simple language that everyone can understand, not just professionals who are in your specific line of business. Don’t use industry terms or abbreviations; you want everything to be clear to everyone.
  • Ask your customer what they believe would make your product better in some way. This is an important question where some answers could help you to improve your product in ways you might not have thought of before.

Test your questions

And lastly, test your questions on colleagues or friends before conducting your survey to make sure that your questions are easy enough to understand completely, and that the survey isn’t too long. Around 3 minutes is ideal.